North Henderson Is Where It’s At

April 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Christine Jonas

If you are looking for a fun night out, delicious food and a low-key atmosphere the bars on North Henderson are just the place to go. With J. Blacks Lounge, NeighborHood Services Tavern and Capitol Pub side-by-side at the 2400 block of N. Henderson Avenue, you have three great options in one location.

The patio at Capitol Pub is hoppin' on weekend afternoons. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPITOL PUB)

Capitol Pub offers a classic bar environment. A horseshoe-shaped bar sits in the middle of the room with tables surrounding it. An outdoor patio boasts many tables and a chance to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

The kitchen is open until 11 p.m. Monday- Thursday, midnight Friday- Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. The menu is quite extensive and the food is delicious. I recommend the Seared Rare Tuna Salad and the Drunken Steak Sandwich.

This pub is your best bet to grab a cocktail with a friend during happy hour Monday- Thursday from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. and Friday from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Capitol Pub is open Monday- Thursday 4 p.m.-2 a.m. And Friday- Sunday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

For a more sophisticated night out, head to NeighborHood Services Tavern. You will find the bar separated from the seated tables, but it provides a nice atmosphere to eat, talk and drink with your friends.

The menu offers an array of items, but definitely appeals to a more sophisticated pallet. The Fried Little Asparagus is a great starter, especially when followed by the Tavern Butcher’s Meatloaf. Also, the nightly plates offer wonderful daily specials.

NeighborHood Services outdoor seating area. (PHOTO BY CHRISTINE JONAS/SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

NeighborHood Services, open Monday through Saturday, serves specialty cocktails that are classic and tasty. The bar opens at 5 p.m. and the kitchen opens at 5:30 p.m. I recommend calling ahead to add your party to the wait-list for the evening, tables tend to fill up quickly.

If you want a relaxed lounge feel, with great music and amazing cocktails then J. Blacks Lounge is the place for you. A large circular bar sits in the middle of the room and tables and couches surround it. A patio wraps around the outside offering great outdoor seating options.

Acai Sangria and the BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders are a go-to favorite at J.Blacks. (PHOTO BY CHRISTINE JONAS/SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

With an extensive food and drink menu, you are sure to find something for you. Their cocktails are unique and delicious, especially the Acai Sangria or the Orange Mojito. The dinner plates are wonderful to share, so I recommend ordering the BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, the Austrailian Lam Chop Lollipops and the Hummus–perfect as a snack for a small group.

J.Blacks Lounge is open Monday- Thursday from 4 p.m.-2 p.m. and Friday- Sunday from 11 a.m.-2a.m.

Contact Information
Capitol Pub
214. 887.9330
2401 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas TX 75206

NeighborHood Services
2405 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX 75206

Blacks Lounge
2409 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX 75206

Spring Dance Concert Opens at Meadows This Week

March 30, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Christine Jonas

Spring has finally arrived and with it comes the 2011 Spring Dance Concert presented by the Meadows School of the Arts Dance Ensemble. With choreographers from professors, to internationally renowned artists, to students, this show is sure to be an outstanding production.

This show, made up of a selection of ballet and contemporary works, takes place in the Bob Hope Theatre of the Own Arts Center. Opening today, March 30, this show runs every night at 8 p.m., with one final performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 3.

Four works will be performed throughout the night, opening with Prayers, choreographed by Jessica Lang, a New York-based choreographer. Originally commissioned by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Lang has brought this work to SMU and is sure to be great.

New faculty member Christopher Dolder will present his Darwinian comedy/drama, Viglenad’s Garden, that dances around birth, life, death, and rebirth.

Camille…a Poem of Intimacy, a work-in-progress piece by guest artist-in-residence Jean Paul Comelin, is not something to miss. Comelin is an internationally renowned choreographer who has worked around the world creating more than 70 works for major dance companies.

Also on the program is a work choreographed by SMU dance student Jamal Jackson White. No Contact was premiered by White at a Brown Bag Dance Concert last fall.

Friday and Saturday audiences will receive a special performance of Martha Graham’s work Panorama by SMU dancers. The Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest and most celebrated dance company in the country and has presented this spectacular opportunity for SMU dancers.

Come out and support the Meadow’s dancers and their 2011 Spring Dance Concert.

Tickets cost $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and @7 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Free parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage under the Meadows Museum. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787.

Where To Spend Fat Tuesday In The Big D

March 8, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Christine Jonas

With Mardi Gras celebrations coming to an end on Fat Tuesday, one last horrah is in order. Can’t make it down to New Orleans for the day? Don’t worry, we have all the best parties and events for you right here in Dallas.

For a fun party with jello shots, bead throwing, costumes and a live band, head over to Fish City Grill anywhere from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

College students from around the country flocked to New Orleans this year for its famous annual celebration of Mardi Gras. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Open a bit later, Humperdink’s Restaurant & Brewery is where you want to be. Opened from 11 a.m.-2 a.m., the party will be going all day-even the staff will be dressed up. During their two Happy Hours, from 4-7 p.m. or 10-11 p.m., shots are only $2.99 and Blasters are only $4.99. Other specials include $5 Hurricanes, $3 Big Mugs of beer, $2 Pints of Beer and N’Awlins Sliders for $6.00 – for those of age of course.

For a night out on the town, head to Wish Ultra Lounge. The theme is Back 2 Basics: Mardi Grad Edition, so dress in your best Mardi Grad attire and dance the night away. Music will be spun all night by guest DJ Robert Pennington.

New Orleans Saints player Remi Ayodele is bringing a little New Orleans flavor to Zouk Nightclub as he hosts the Phenomenal Phat Tuesday party. At this party you will get a night full of debauchery, daiquiris and dancing–with free cajun cuisine, party favors and four different DJ’s taking turns soundtracking the night.

Not 21? Don’t worry, M Street Bar is hosting a Get Beaded party. Drink specials all night, beads will be provided and DJ Yosh will have Hip-Hop, Top 40 and Electro for your dancing desires.

If you are going to be in Fort Worth for the night, head to Fat Daddy’s. There is no cover and drink specials all night! Dress for the Mardi Gras costume contest and you could go home with $100, $300 or even $600.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have one great night to end this year’s Mardi Gras season.

Brown Bag Dance Series Is Back This Week

February 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Christine Jonas

Meadows’ Dancers Perform at Brown Bag Dance Series from on Vimeo.

The spring Brown Bag Dance Series will kick off today, February 28 at noon in the Lobby of the Bob Hope Theatre in the Owen Arts Center.

The Brown Bag Dance Series is a student run dance performance held each semester, where the students choreograph, plan and set up each dance. There is one faculty advisor that oversees everything, but really leaves it up to the students.

“I am beyond impressed with them. It is a great opportunity for them to figure out how to audition, select dancers, schedule rehearsals and create new and exciting work,” says Professor Danny Buraczeski, the faculty advisor for the upcoming series.

The series runs daily for a week with lunchtime shows at noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Admission is free.

There are typically 10-15 performances in each show, featuring all kinds of dance like ballet, modern and jazz.

“This time there are 10 performances and this series is really diverse. We are doing a hip-hop dance, a musical theater dance, two pointe ballet pieces and a contemporary piece,” says Brianna O’Connor, a sophomore SMU dance student who will be in the upcoming Brown Bag.

With different students choreographing new pieces every semester, this series never gets old—keeping the audience intrigued every time.

“It is really great going each semester, I never know what to expect and it really impresses me that they come up with such diversity in every Brown Bag,” says Myles Luttman, a senior SMU student. “It is fun to watch because I have friends in the show, but it is also great to see an art form that most people aren’t familiar with.”

Even the faculty is impressed when the series comes around each semester.

“Every Brown Bag is unique and different. Every one is better than another one in some way. It’s always, always dynamic and exciting. It is fantastic preparation if a student wants to have their own dance company once they graduate,” says Buraczeski.

The preparation with Brown Bag starts off with student Choreographers creating different dances. They teach the dance students a small portion of their routines and perform it in front of faculty adjudicators—which is typically made up of SMU dance professors. From there, the adjudicators help narrow down the performances that will make up the show. Then the choreographers sit down to barter and trade the dancers they want for their performance.

“We have two weeks to learn it, then it gets adjudicated, then another two weeks to rehearse before we perform, “says O’Connor.

O’Connor also pointed out how great the opportunity is for dance students, because it is a relaxed environment where they can dance barefoot or in their socks, unlike their more serious performances like the Hope Show coming later in the semester. It is also a chance for the students to take the process into their own hands.

“It is really about the choreographers, because it’s their chance to get their choreography out and test it. It’s a chance to see if they have the skills to do this. The whole process is about them,” says O’Connor. “I haven’t done it yet, but I want to—maybe next year.”

This is an opportunity for SMU students to go see something new and experience a new for of art and expression.

“Don’t be afraid or intimidated by dance. It is a non-verbal art form to be enjoyed without preconceptions,” says Buraczeski. “Every viewer will have a different experience and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a celebration.”

Video by Sydney Giesey and Fernando Valdez
Editing by Sydney Giesey

Retail Report: Spring Fashion Musts

February 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Christine Jonas

As spring rapidly approaches, we have to start thinking about that warm weather ahead and the outfits that come with it. This spring is all about the continuation of trends found in the past year-making it nice for our wallets and our closet space. But don’t worry, there are plenty of new looks you can scour the malls and shops for.


We will start with the basics. Neutral colors are a must! The nudes, whites, topes, and browns are all the rage for a simple outfit, or the perfect base to layer on top of. A neutral outfit with a bright tank top or bright shoes is great!


Cropped pants are very “in” this spring. Roll up your favorite pair of jeans or buy a cute pair of cropped cargo pants. Per-usual, jean shorts and cute high-wasted skirts are musts!

Tops are simple. Those plaids you been wearing all fall and winter, can be transformed for spring by rolling up the sleeves or unbuttoning it over a simple tank top. Jean shirts are still great, and are paired nicely with a khaki pair of pants some fun cargos. If you’re sick of shirts with buttons, feminine t-shirts or light pull-over sweaters are awesome.


What shall be layered? With the re-birth of biker chic and lacy sass, options are endless. A simple studded bracelet or a great pair of biker boots are great additions. If you want a softer look go with a lace skirt or top to liven up a look.

As far as accessories go, bright, bold colors provide the greatest detail. The looks seen so far are a simple base with simple accessories, layering is great, but try not to over do it. A few good combinations to try: a simple belt and a chunky necklace, a wrist-full of bracelets and jewels with some stand-out earrings, or some long-layered necklaces with a great statement bag.


Bags are looking a lot smaller these days, but for those of you like me we need both. A clutch or over-the-shoulder bag are great for going out at night or catching lunch with a friend. But lets face it, going to class calls for big bags, as does general day-to-day activities. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and use both (though, not at the same time).


In the shoe department, the trends aren’t changing much from things we have seen. The clogs that were all the rage last summer are back! As are chunky heels/ wedges for the warmer weather! If heels aren’t totally your thing, or just looking for a cute heel-less shoe, the classic biker boot is still in style, as is a fun pair of oxfords (must-haves now!).

Overall have fun with it. Be feminine with lace and neutral colors, but with a touch of biker girl. Don’t be afraid of the bright colors and the chunky accessories! Enjoy!

RESTAURANT REVIEW: My Fit Foods on Hillcrest

January 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By: Christine Jonas

Food Quality:

Driving down Hillcrest, you might notice the new store front with the intriguing name My Fit Foods. You might be a little skeptical at first and find yourself curiously mumbling, “hmm, another trendy food place.” But let me tell you, it’s not.

My Fit Foods is a new food store that sells breakfast, lunch and dinner at a very reasonable price. Their menu claims they “offer fresh portioned meals at an affordable price.” If it was up to me, I would add, “and it tastes good too.”

So here’s the deal, you walk in and are greeted right away by one of their friendly employees. If it’s your first time you get walked through the process, which goes as follows: you pick your pre-packaged meal from refrigerators, then you pay for it. If you feel like eating it right then and there, you can heat it up in one of the microwaves they provide. If you don’t, the food comes in perfect to-go containers for your convenience.

According to one of their employees, 98 percent of the food is gluten free and it is a perfect balance of proteins, carbs and essentials fats. Most meal options come in a small, medium, or large serving and range in price from $3.75- $12. All the meals are made fresh every morning at a different location and brought to the Hillcrest shop.

I had the Tenderloin Stir Fry and loved it! It was very flavorful (especially for food that claims to be healthy) and the medium portion left me perfectly satisfied.

It doesn’t have the greatest ambiance to sit and eat, and with only a couple tables it doesn’t seem greatly encouraged. It had a very energetic, cold, almost gym-like feel to it, but to pick up food and be on your way, it was great.

With a wide variety of choices and food types, you can find anything you are craving at My Fit Foods. If you don’t have time to cook or you are running off campus to grab lunch before your next class, this is a great healthy option. Or at the very least, if you are sick of Chick-Fil-A, Jimmy Johns, and Pizza Hut, My Fit Foods is a great place to throw into your weekly routine to spice things up a bit.

Editor’s Note: For a more in-depth look at My Fit Foods and their menu options, check out the Daily Mustang’s article from last fall. It’s more than to-go meals – it’s a mini food revolution.